Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dumb and Dumber To review


Twenty years it took for the sequel to my favorite comedy of all time.  Twenty years it took for the Farrelly brothers (Bobby and Peter) to make Dumb and Dumber To.  The process of getting the movie made, and all its ups and downs could be a film in and of itself.  Regardless of the troubles, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are back!  Joining them are Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden and Rachel Melvin in the sequel we all wanted; let's go!


What I liked about the film:
The Acting
Great characters are so important to any story.  And Harry and Lloyd are such great film characters.  Two dumb guys, who get into some crazy situations, managed to make us fall in love with them twenty years ago.  It's no different with this sequel.  Carrey and Daniels are, for a lack of a better work, charmingly dumb in the film.  They have such obvious chemistry, that seems to have lasted the test of time.  It must have been like riding a bike for the first time in decades for these two guys.  Carrey still gets top billing, and most of the well-written jokes.  Daniels proves his range with another great performance, that could have otherwise been a forgotten supporting role.  I love Harry and Lloyd and will always wonder what has come about for these two goofs.


What I didn't like about the film:
The Story
While important characters are vital to a film; a well-written story could be arguably more important.  This story is just re-hash of the first film.  A cross-country journey to find someone is not exactly exploring new grounds for a comedy.  In my opinion, road trip comedies are almost a lazy way out of a fresh and compelling idea.  The motivations for the characters are there, but they're dumb (no pun intended).  And the way the plot plays out has us rolling our eyes in disbelief, where the first film had us cheering on the characters until they reached their next stop.  I hate to be the one to say this, but the Farrelly brothers' best writing to date, was their first film... Dumb and Dumber.

The Re-hash
I can seriously quote 80% of the first film, THAT'S how many times I've seen the movie.  While I agree a little nod here and there to the original is nice, especially considering the amount of time that has passed, don't rest on the gags that made the first film so successful.  I will try not to spoil anything, but there are seriously jokes that replicate the first film beat for beat.  This was something I looked past with The Hangover II; but it's much worse here.  Remember that hilarious dream sequence in the first film?  I'll let you guess if there's one of those in this film.  Oh wait, the trailer already spoiled that for us.  The fact that the trailer spoiled a lot of great jokes, is something I'll leave alone for now.

The Supporting Characters 
I love the actors cast as supporting characters, I just don't like the characters very much.  None of them are really explored, and beyond the obvious motivations mentioned in the script, we don't know why else they're doing what they're doing.  Rob Riggle is a tremendously funny actor, and he's not even utilized in a comedic part for more than half the film!  Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead fame is a terrific actress; she's so incorrectly used that I couldn't care less what happened to her.  She has a high brow scene that just didn't play well to me.  And Rachel Melvin is a very bright spot in this film; but she's criminally underused here.  Melvin kills it in this movie, and should be under my 'likes' section of the review.  But the fact that we barely scratch the surface of her character, is enough to leave me frustrated and disappointed.


The Verdict:
Hindsight
I wish I wouldn't have seen the film.  Honestly, the first one means so much to me, I am having a hard time writing this review from an unbiased perspective.  I wanted this movie to be great.  I wanted it to be so good, it would warrant another sequel.  I didn't get that.  Instead I got lazy writing for two very gifted comedic actors.  I got one joke after another of the characters using words incorrectly, with not much else.  A silly plot that never grabbed my attention, and supporting characters that we don't explore and definitely do not care about.  This might be the last time I see Harry and Lloyd on the big screen, and that may not be such a bad thing.

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